With the growth of Gracie University, the controversy is mostly about the fact that they deliver a ‘technical blue belt’ to members who learn over the internet and send in footage of them drilling the techniques. This is the only BJJ website that actually delivers belts in the mail.
Roy Harris is actually more modern , as he promotes people up to 2 stripe brown belt by email.
Many prominent members of the BJJ community have publicly criticised Gracie University: Rickson Gracie,Royce Gracie, Kron Gracie, Murilo Bustamante, recently Royler Gracie and Robert Drysdale who recently stated that Rener and Ryron were dragging Helio Gracie’s legacy in the mud.
Drysdale (6-0 MMA) has also released his own jiu-jitsu lessons online. But in an interview with MMAjunkie Radio, Drysdale said there’s a big difference between his online instructional website and Gracie University:
“There’s no (belt) promotion, and I make it clear and I make a case of this, if you don’t practice at all and you just want to learn a few things, online will give you a few ideas. But that’s never going to help you in a real situation.
“I want to make it very clear that it’s a supplement. This is something for you to have an idea, and try it at the gym. At the end of the day, there’s no better instruction than on the mat. It’s lots and lots of mat time.”
“It’s like watching Tiger Woods play and then claiming you know how to play golf. That’s kind of what some of these guys believe in.”
“All of these people are trying to sell that if you keep watching these videos, you’ll become competitive in a real situation or a life-threatening situation,” he said. “And to sell that as self-defense is not only unethical, it’s risky, because you’re telling a lot of people they’ll be able to defend themselves based off they’re watching online, and that’s not true. You can risk hurting yourself, and I think it’s dangerous. Frankly, I think the word is not only unethical, but dangerous.”
Drysdale feels that Rener Gracie and Ryron Grcaie in their Gracie Breakdown videos, have no right to point out the flaws of MMA fighters.
The brothers’ use of YouTube to popularize Gracie jiu-jitsu through segments such as “The Gracie Way” and “The Gracie Breakdown” have garnered a large number of viewers. The Gracie Breakdowns are short commentaries on mixed martial arts bouts in which the brothers explain the techniques and strategies employed by the competitors. Their objective is to increase appreciation for Gracie jiu-jitsu and encourage viewers to learn the art. Ryron and Rener’s video analysis of a match between Fabrício Werdum and Fedor Emelianenko was one of YouTube’s top viewed videos on June 28, 2010 and was featured on YouTube’s home page earning it over 100,000 views in 24 hours. Since then, the Gracie Breakdowns have become the most popular Gracie videos on the web. Gracie breakdowns are now featured on UFC’s weekly show ‘UFC Ultimate Insider’.
“For someone who’s never competed, not even in a jiu-jitsu tournament, for them to tell what a UFC fighter is doing wrong is very bold. I don’t have the balls to do that. How the hell would you know?
“Not to toot my own horn, but I could make better judgements than they can. I have not only experience fighting, but experience cornering and teaching, and I’ve been doing that exclusively for the last eight years. I feel uncomfortable doing it. But they have no problem saying, ‘Yeah, listen up GSP, this is what you’re doing wrong.’ That’s some nerve when you’ve never fought.”